The people at Calma have one thing very clear: furniture is to be really enjoyed. This brand based in the town of Vilamalla and made up of young creatives, is dedicated to the design and production of furniture for outdoor spaces (tables, easy chairs, seats...) that is versatile and elegant. Their products don't have a completely definable aesthetical style, but they do have a fixed philosophy: the desire to transmit the values of the Empordà area of Catalonia and the Mediterranean at large. The result is a range of products that combine elegance, functionality and quality. Check them out at the showroom in Sarrià de Ter (Av. de França, 151).
Bring together several kilos of Empordà ceramics, the surrealism of Salvador Dalí, a good dash of the tramuntana wind, a handful of skulls, and mix well. The result is Bussoga, which, as well as meaning 'bump' in the local dialect of Empordanès, is a studio created by Josep Motas, a designer from Sant Jordi Desvalls. Bussoga features one-off ceramic pieces made using completely traditional materials and techniques; it's the perfect marriage between tradition, the avant-garde and the hipster. But be careful, it can be addictive. And if you don't believe us, check out the hashtag #bussoga...
White, black and ceramics. The person behind Nearly Black is the artist Nuri Negre ('negre' means 'black' in Catalan), who uses this label to produce the most commercial part of her ceramics and her sculptural creations. The pieces of Nuri Negre are organic and feature restrained designs that play with the contrast between white and black. You'll find jewellery as well as decorative plates, vases and jugs that will provide an original touch to your, or somebody else's, home. Find them at La Volta market and La Puça in Girona.
Discretion, subtlety and organic shapes. That's the essence of the jewellery made by Empordà designer Eva Lozano. Her pieces, which include ear-rings, necklaces and rings, are completely artisanal and ignore any traditional hierarchy, as her creations are more like amulets to her. Lozano is definitely someone to be keeping an eye on.
In 2011, Greta was born and the life of her mother, Montse Pou, did a 180-degree turn: she left her job and, between nappies and bottles, made a start on fulfilling her dream of becoming a fashion designer. Three years later and Delicada Greta was a reality. A clothes label with a retro, indie style that's inspired by the personalities of two very important women in Montse's life: her grandmothers Nita and Cinta. The shop, located in the pretty heart of Girona, looks like it's straight out of Pinterest.
Biotactex is an initiative created by Josep Mascarós that creates clothing made with organic bamboo fibre that is 100% biodegradable. It is, in fact, the first company in Spain to create clothes using this material. As a result, it offers a real solution to some of the skin problems suffered by babies, young people, adults and senior citizens. If you have dermatitis or allergies, then the underwear created by Biotactex is just the thing for you. In Girona, you'll find their products at Eco-Lògic (Francesc Ciurana, 9), in Boutique Dalfo in Palafrugell (Cavallers, 24-26) and in Figueres at Origins (Rambla, 1).
Cider is growing in popularity in Catalonia and there's a number of home-grown varieties that we recommend trying. One of those is Mooma, created at Mas Saulot in the Empordà region. It's light, aromatic and balanced. And it won first prize in an international contest for apple ciders held in the Spanish region of Asturias, which has itself long been renowned for its cider. The drink is the work of a family of fruit farmers who, after completing a cider course in the UK, decided to throw themselves in at the deep end and created the first cider made using local varieties of apple. Stand aside gin and tonic; Girona cider is here! Try it in Restaurant LUA in Cadaqués (Santa Maria, 1) or Ice Café in Girona (Riu Fluvià, 1). If you want to buy, click here for a list of stockists.
Not everybody can say that they've cooked their sausages on an award-winning barbecue! However, designers Jordi Bahí and Jordi Güell have made this concept a possibility for everybody with their Caliu Plus barbecue, which in 2013 won a Delta de Plata prize for its design and philosophy. Although it's true that the Bahí & Güell range goes beyond barbecues, and also includes everything from accessories for grilling to products for cooking with nitrogen. Produced with artisans from Girona and Barcelona, their designs are sure to surprise lovers of gastronomy who are looking for new tools that have a lot of creativity.
The name doesn't lie: this is an authentic 'maison' of design and production, and all the pieces are sewn by Marina herself. In this small, welcoming shop in the centre of Girona, you'll only find very limited edition clothes, all extremely feminine and personal and which make seasonal trends their own, as designed by Marina and her daughter Patricia. The price of these almost-unique dresses, which can be adapted to the shape and preferences of each client, rarely go above €150. If you need yet more reasons to go to this amazing atelier, you should know that all the materials used are of Catalan or Italian production.
Two young designers gave up everything to embark on an adventure that, from Figueres, has arrived as far as Japan. Imma and Xènia are Rita Row, a female character who dresses in a very urban style, halfway between vintage and naïf, without losing sight of the practical and sexy characteristics of the Mediterranean woman. They sell online and in shops across Europe as well as in Japan, but they also offer the possibility of visiting their workshop for private sales, a glamorous option that, let's be honest, not all the high-street chains offer. Send them an email, go with friends and enjoy the exclusivity.
The creations from Decobruc will fill your house with nature. Mirrors, hooks, lamps, photo frames, tables and chairs will transform any room into an environmentally friendly space, as all the products available in this design shop are made with wood and recycled materials sourced locally. They even use wood that they find in the sea to construct some of their pieces, which means that every item is unique and exclusive. If you love life by the coast, you should get your hands on one of their boats made with wood from the water as well as recycled materials, and in that way take a little bit of the sea home with you. Their shop is in La Bisbal de l'Empordà, at C/ de l'Aigüeta, 16.